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Prak Sokhonn to visit Laos for talks

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. KT/Mai Vireak

Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn will this week lead a delegation on a two day-official visit to Laos to expand the scope and depth of bilateral cooperation between both nations.

A Ministry statement released on Monday said that at the invitation of the Lao Government, Mr Sokhonn and Lao Foreign Affairs Minister Saleumxay Kommasith will co-chair the 13th Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between Cambodia and Laos on Thursday and Friday in Vientiane.

“His Excellency Prak Sokhonn will discuss with His Excellency Saleumxay Kommasith on various aspects of bilateral cooperation with the aim of expanding the scope and depth of bilateral cooperation in all potential areas,” the statement said. “He will also exchange views with his Lao counterpart on regional and international matters of common interest.”

During his stay, Mr Sokhonn will also pay separate courtesy calls on Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

“This is his third visit to Lao PDR since His Excellency Prak Sokhonn became Foreign Minister three years ago and it will further enhance the longstanding fraternal ties between the two countries,” the statement said.

In August 2017, Lao troops invaded the Ou Alai and Ou Ta Ngav areas in Stung Treng province during a dispute over the construction of a road near the border by Cambodian authorities.

In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered thousands of troops to be deployed along the border while giving an ultimatum to Laos to withdraw its forces within six days. A day later, Mr Hun Sen flew to Vientiane to talk with Mr Thongloun, resulting in Laos agreeing to withdraw its troops.

It is not clear whether both sides will continue to discuss border issues during Mr Sokhonn’s trip this week.

During his latest two-day official visit to Vientiane in December, Mr Hun Sen said that the government is committed to putting an end to border disputes between both counties by asking for France’s assistance.

During his visit, both sides also signed some agreements relating to education, cultural cooperation and the purchase of electricity.

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